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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 22, 2012

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

ATTRA Wants to Feature Your Sustainable Operation
As we celebrate 25 years of ATTRA helping those who are passionate about sustainable agriculture, we'd like to spotlight some of the results of that passion on our ATTRA website. Our new "Sustainable Producer Spotlight" will give producers from around the country the opportunity to show off their operations and talk about their philosophies of sustainable agriculture. To take part, just click on the link and fill out the form, and we'll be in touch.

News & Resources

  • Online Tool Helps Communities Plan Local Food Systems
  • Wildlife Habitat Being Converted to Cropland, Says Report
  • Organic Fruit and Vegetable Storage Guide Released
  • Weed Population Resistant to 2,4-D Discovered
  • AgMRC Can Assist Producers in Applying for USDA Value-Added Grants
  • NOP Offers Drought Relief for Organic Ruminant Farmers

Funding Opportunities

  • Value-Added Producer Grants
  • NCR-SARE Research and Education Grant Program
  • Biopesticides & Organic Support Research Program Grants

Coming Events

  • Southwest Marketing Network Conference
  • Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project Farm Tour
  • NODPA Field Days and Annual Meeting

News & Resources

Online Tool Helps Communities Plan Local Food Systems
Virginia and North Carolina communities interested in developing a local food system have access to a new online planning tool, the Community Food System Explorer. The tool allows them to identify their assets and effectively assess the factors required for developing and implementing a system that supports healthy food, enhances local businesses, and conserves the environment. Developers say the tool is unique in its focus on an integrated approach to food system development rather than just one specialty area.

Wildlife Habitat Being Converted to Cropland, Says Report
Responding to high crop prices and insurance subsidies, growers plowed under more than 23 million acres of grassland, shrub land, and wetlands in order to plant commodity crops between 2008 and 2011, a new report by Environmental Working Group and Defenders of Wildlife shows. The analysis, titled "Plowed Under," uses U.S. Department of Agriculture satellite data to produce the most accurate estimate currently available of the rate of habitat conversion in the Farm Belt.

Organic Fruit and Vegetable Storage Guide Released
Cornell University has added a new title to its collection of organic production guides that outline general practices for growing vegetable and fruit crops using organic integrated pest management techniques. 2012 Production Guide for Storage of Organic Fruits and Vegetables is available free online as a PDF file.

Weed Population Resistant to 2,4-D Discovered
Researchers writing for the journal Weed Science report having discovered a 2,4-D-resistant weed population. Reuters notes that the discovery is particularly significant because Dow AgroSciences is planning to roll out genetically engineered crops that tolerate a 2,4-D-based herbicide. According to the research report, after 10 years of treatment with 2,4-D, waterhemp was no longer effectively controlled in a Nebraska native-grass seed production field.

AgMRC Can Assist Producers in Applying for USDA Value-Added Grants
The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC) provides producer groups with information for use in applying for the USDA Rural Business and Cooperative Service value-added producer grants. AgMRC is a virtual library of agricultural value-added opportunities, business development, and consulting resources for producers. Producers can investigate specific commodity information on many different niche opportunities and can locate specific laws, consultants, and individual contacts within their individual states to assist them in the grant application process.

NOP Offers Drought Relief for Organic Ruminant Farmers
Under USDA organic regulations, organic ruminant livestock must consume at least 30 percent of their dry matter intake (on average) from certified organic pasture. Due to the severe drought, USDA is granting a temporary variance from these requirements, with restrictions.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG)
The primary objective of the VAPG program is to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based, value-added products. Matching grants of up to $100,000 are available for planning, and working capital matching grants of up to $300,000 are offered. Independent producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer or rancher cooperatives, or majority-controlled producer-based business ventures are eligible to apply.
Application deadline is October 15, 2012.

NCR-SARE Research and Education Grant Program
The North Central Region SARE (NCR-SARE) Research and Education Grant Program is a competitive grant program for researchers and educators involved in projects that explore and promote environmentally sound, profitable, and socially responsible food and/or fiber systems. Grant awards range from $10,000 to $200,000.
Preproposals are due November 9, 2012.

Biopesticides & Organic Support Research Program Grants
Early- and advanced-stage grants are available to U.S. public and private colleges and universities, USDA agencies, commodity groups, non-government organizations, and contract research organizations. Demonstration grants are available for organizations involved in work that can enhance the adoption of registered biopesticides in agricultural and non-agricultural settings. Demonstration grants will fund up to $25,000 of project costs.
Proposals are due by October 19, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Southwest Marketing Network Conference
September 16-18, 2012
Rio Rico, Arizona

This Border Food Summit will highlight the successes and challenges of border food systems from West Texas to southern Arizona. The agenda includes farm tours, breakout sessions, and group discussion and action planning.

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project Farm Tour
September 22-23, 2012
Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, and Yancey, North Carolina

This self-guided driving tour is your chance to learn how food grows, taste farm-fresh treats, interact with farm animals, and meet Western North Carolina food producers. A list of participating farms is available online.

NODPA Field Days and Annual Meeting
September 27-28, 2012
Brattleboro, Vermont

Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance presents "Farming Smarter: A Nutrient and Energy Dense Agenda to Help Farmers Become More Self-Reliant." Educational sessions, two farm tours, a large trade show, and networking opportunities are planned.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2012 NCAT

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